With 2016 less than two months away, we’re approaching peak calendar season — the time of year when empty mall storefronts become pop-up calendar shops, and you consider buying a wall calendar even though you only really keep track of your time with a digital calendar, if at all. Then you pick one up because they make great Secret Santa presents!
Anyway, I’d avoid this particular Phillies calendar made by Turner Licensing if you’re buying one — unless you’re buying a calendar for a sadist. Not only is since-traded Phillies ace Cole Hamels on the cover, but the calendar is full of former Phillies. Read more »
The Phillies officially declined Cliff Lee’s club option for 2016 today, which means the pitcher is now a free agent. As part of his contract, the Phillies will pay him $12.5 million to not pitch for them this season.
Nice work if you can get it! Per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, Lee was owed $27.5 million this year if he pitched for the Phillies. The Phillies actually saved $15 million by paying him eight figures to go away.
We’ve known since last year that his career was probably over. Just recently Lee sold his condo at 1706 Rittenhouse, as Property reports today. Read more »
Philadelphia Phillies alumnus Mickey Morandini throws out the first pitch prior to the start of game four of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park on October 19, 2009. Photo | Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The Phillies rounded out their coaching staff for next year today by announcing former Phillies infielder Mickey Morandini would coach first base.
Morandini, a fifth-round draft pick by the Phillies in 1988, played second base for the team from 1990 to 1997 before being traded to the Cubs for Doug Glanville. Morandini returned for a partial season in 2000 before retiring.
He’s been back with the organization since 2010, when he left a job managing a high school team to become the skipper of the Phillies single-A affiliate in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He managed them for a season and began managing at another single-A club, Lakewood, the next two years. Read more »
The World Series begins tonight, and the Phillies aren’t in it.
You know that, of course. The Phillies lost 99 games this year, worst in the major leagues, and they haven’t even been to the playoffs since 2011. The Royals (yay!) face the Mets (boo!) starting tonight, and you have former Phillie/current Royal Ryan Madson to root for. Also, you should just root against the Mets as a matter of principle.
Despite their struggles the last few years, the Phillies still picked up an award today. Good Morning America named the Phillie Phanatic the best mascot ever!
The runner-up was … who cares! The Phillie Phanatic won, and that’s all that matters. To celebrate, here are eight of my favorite GIFs of the furry green monster from the Galapagos who cheers for the Phillies for some reason. Read more »
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak (Screengrab via CSN Philly)
Speaking to reporters in Philadelphia for the first time since being hired as general manager of the Phillies, Matt Klentak sounded like a reality show contestant: He didn’t come here to make friends. He came here to win.
“I would not have left Mike Trout in his prime if I did not believe we could win,” said Klentak, formerly the assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Angels. Well, duh. But he also hinted he did not expect to go through a long, Sixers-like rebuilding process.
“For the timeframe part, I have very ambitious goals,” Klentak said at his introductory press conference. “I’m leaving a very proud and ambitious organization to come here. I didn’t do it to lose. I came here to win … We will win as soon as it is humanly possible to win.”
How quickly that comes depends on the players, said the 35-year-old Klentak, who added he did not intend to make “sweeping changes” in the organization. Read more »
Phillies GM Matt Klentak. Photo | Phillies/Miles Kennedy
The Phillies have hired Ruben Amaro‘s replacement.
The team announced today Matt Klentak is the team’s choice to succeed Amaro as general manager. He will be introduced at a press conference at Citizens Bank Park later this morning.
Klentak, who played shortstop at Dartmouth, was previously the assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He is just 35. He worked previously for the team’s new president, Andy MacPhail, as director of baseball operations for the Baltimore Orioles.
“I am honored to be named general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies,” Klentak said in a release. “The franchise has a rich history, owners who are committed to winning every single day, and passionate and knowledgeable fans who support the team. They should know they have my tireless commitment to winning a championship.”
A 2011 Orange County Register profile says Klentak’s office was furnished with “yearly editions of The Bill James Handbook and other volumes of data-dense baseball guides [in] cherry finished bookshelves that match his large desk covered by his handwritten notes.” He told the paper he “wouldn’t consider myself a metrics guy but I think balance is important.” Read more »
Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown (9) high fives team mates in the dugout after hitting a three RBI home run during the third inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
At one point, he was the future. At another, he was an All-Star. Now, Domonic Brown is a about to become a former Phillie.
The once-untouchable prospect was one of four players outrighted off the Phillies’ 40-man roster today. Outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Kelly Dugan, and catcher Tommy Joseph, were also removed from the 40-man.
The move means Brown can elect to become a free agent. He would have been in his second year of salary arbitration had he stayed with the team. Read more »
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins against the Chicago White Sox during a spring training baseball game at Camelback Ranch.
Last night, the Dodgers and Mets played a deciding Game 5 in Los Angeles. The Dodgers did not start either of their prominent ex-Phillies, Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins. And maybe they should have, because the Mets beat the Dodgers, 3-2, to advance to the National League Championship Series. There really aren’t any 2007-2011 Phillies in the playoffs anymore. All we have left to root for is Ben Revere, and he’s on the Blue Jays. Who wants to root for the team that beat the Phillies in 1993? Reliever Ryan Madson is on the Royals.
Utley and Rollins did both pinch hit last night, with Rollins grounding out in the 8th. In the bottom of the 9th, Chase Utley got a fat pitch down the center of the plate. It looked like he’d crushed it off the bat. It was a line out to Curtis Granderson.
That means the big three players the Phillies traded after the 2014 season are all out of the playoffs, with Cole Hamels losing the deciding game for the Texas Rangers earlier this week. Read more »
Cole Hamels was on the losing end of Wednesday’s ALDS playoff game. | Nick Turchiaro
It was one of the strangest seventh innings of a baseball game you’ll ever see. It ended with a former Phillies pitcher allowing the winning run.
When we last saw Cole Hamels in a Phillies uniform, he was throwing a no-hitter and improving his trade value. He ended up with the Texas Rangers, and pitched pretty well for them. The Rangers ended up passing two teams and winning the AL West.
Hamels allowed 4 runs over 7 innings in a Rangers win in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. He started Wednesday’s deciding Game 5 in Toronto. And… he lost. Unlike his stellar performances in deciding games for the Phils, Hamels gave up 5 runs on 4 hits in 6 1/3 innings. He had a 2-0 lead. The Blue Jays won, 6-3.
It wasn’t his fault, though. Hamels struck out 8 and walked 2. Only 2 of those 5 runs he allowed were earned. All 3 unearned runs scored after he was pulled. Read more »
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke
Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will reportedly announce his retirement today.
The Nutter Administration has alerted the press to a “major public safety announcement” today, and the Daily News reports that Ramsey, 65, will announce his intent to retire at the end of the year.
Democratic mayoral candidate Jim Kenney is expected to win next month’s election, and to pick Ramsey’s successor. “Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross has long been viewed by department insiders as the likely successor to Ramsey,” the Daily News reports. “But other candidates, including SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel, could emerge as well.” Read more »